The dates and venue for the first America's Cup preliminary regatta have been announced with AC40 racing due in September in the Catalonian port of Vilanova i la Geltrú
The Catalonian port of Vilanova i la Geltrú, has today, Friday 17 March 2023, been announced as the Host Venue for the first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup, with racing to take place over four days between 14-17th September 2023 in the newly created AC40 class foiling monohull.
In contrast to the America’s Cup itself, raced in purpose-built AC75’s, which the teams develop themselves within a rule framework, the AC40’s are a strict one-design class. It is these mini foilers that are set to be used by each team in the Youth and Women’s America’s Cups.
Although the AC40s are a one-design class, teams are allowed to make changes to them during training in order to test concepts for the bigger AC72 America’s Cup boats, but they must be returned to the strict one-design rule set for this event and the Women’s and Youth AC.
This one-design racing provides little insight into which team might be best set-up to win the America’s Cup itself, as Cup racing is primarily a design competition with the winner, usually the team that is able to develop the fastest boat. However, it will be the first opportunity to pit the sailors of the six competing teams against one another – and a chance for fans to get an idea of which teams are looking most polished in their foiling teamwork.
The six America’s Cup teams set to compete in both the 37th AC and this preliminary regatta are: Emirates Team New Zealand (Defender), INEOS Britannia (Challenger of Record), Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI), American Magic, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (ITA), and Orient Express Team (FRA).
All racing will be broadcast free-to-air through a dedicated America’s Cup television production. The regatta will offer the world a first glimpse of what can be expected when the Youth & Women’s America’s Cup races begin in earnest in September and October 2024 in Barcelona and will be the first time the AC40 fleet will race each other.
In terms of the actual racing, this will take place in a mix of both fleet and match-racing courses, allowing the teams to polish up their match racing skills, the racing format under which the America’s Cup itself is run.
Just 45 kilometres southwest along the coast from America’s Cup Host Venue Barcelona, the racing in the area outside the Vilanova i la Geltrú port entrance will allow for a viewing gallery and wide fan engagement opportunities ashore and should feature similar conditions to those the teams will experience in late 2024 when America’s Cup racing is held in Barcelona.
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